“When I was playing some scrimmage with some of the teammates in the last two weeks, I can’t say it (his surgically repaired left foot) is as good as the original one, the one on the right, but it feels as good as can be running on the court,” Yao said. “The foot limits me a little bit. I still have time to get it better before the regular season starts.
“I have not played a real game, even an exhibition game. I don’t know how it will react. Hopefully, we can learn as soon as possible.”
The Rockets open the preseason against Orlando (and Dwight Howard) on Oct. 5 in Hidalgo, Texas. The Rockets also are without backup center Brad Miller for a couple of weeks due to a sprained ankle.
Yao, as much as he wants to play, has to remember it’s the preseason. It matters less than the regular season games that start late October. And even missing those — or having your minutes limited to 24 a game to start — is not a big deal. With a healthy team and Yao come the playoffs, the Rockets are a popular dark horse pick in the West. Without him, they are not even making it that far. So rest.
Still, it sucks.
Gordon Hayward dunks on Giannis Antetokounmpo, Thon Maker (videos)
The Lakers took on the salary of Jose Calderon this year so they could get a couple second-round picks from the Bulls (Chicago got him from New York in the Derrick Rose trade), but even with the previous regime in Los Angeles the aging point guard was never part of the future.
Sources told ESPN that it’s not yet a certainty Calderon will secure his release from the Lakers in the coming days, but the sides are indeed discussing the options as Wednesday’s playoff eligibility deadline nears….
Sources say that Calderon, if he winds up hitting the open market, would instantly become a target for both the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets.
Cleveland may also have interest if their plan to land Deron Williams when he is bought out by Dallas goes awry.
Calderon, 35, was not part of the Lakers’ regular rotation, playing in just 24 games. He can still knock down a shot if he has space and can set his feet, and he still has a high hoops IQ and can see the floor, but his athleticism has faded, and that can leave him exposed. Particularly on defense.
Players are being waived now so they clear in time for teams to sign them by March 1, after that said players are not eligible for playoff rosters.
There are better players to hit the waiver wire in the coming days — D-Will, Andrew Bogut, Matt Barnes — but Calderon is going to land somewhere. He’d be a solid third point guard and veteran presence for a playoff run.
Marquese Chriss blocks Bobby Portis, who gets testy (video)
The time off during the All-Star break did Dwyane Wade some good.
The Bulls guard turned back the clock on Friday night, leading the Bulls with 23 points and topping it off with this dunk that proved to be the dagger, sealing a Chicago win. The Suns were convinced Wade was going to run the shot clock way down before making his move and they lollygagged into position — so he just blew past everyone for the poster slam.